Creolizing Currents: Bambara

Equestrian Figure
Bamana People (Bambara), Mali
Lent by David Ackley

Bamana and Dogon equestrian figures reflect the prestige and power surrounding horses and thus their riders. Horses in the Bambara tradition, and elsewhere, are associated with royalty, masculinity and warriors. The horse was introduced to the Bambara by Moslems and quickly became the major symbol of male status. The owner of a horse was not only rich but also worldly, for horses were the best means of movement, long-distance communication, trade and warfare. See Sets, Series and Ensembles in African Art by George Nelson Preston, 1985.

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